On Shipping and Fanboys


This is my letter to angry fanboys.

First, let it be known that I love most fanboys. When I go to a con, most of the guys there are respectful. They share a passion with me, and that’s awesome. We’re all on a rock floating through space with little connection to most of the people who surround us, so anything that allows us to bond is fantastic.

What I don’t love are angry fanboys (I wish there were a different word for them). I don’t love being scoffed at when I jump excitedly at finding a comic. I don’t love being told that, if I didn’t like something, it’s because it wasn’t “meant for chicks.” I don’t love the notion that I’m not a real fan because I have two X chromosomes and like to look at the Avengers cast. And I sure as hell don’t love my online interests (particularly shipping) being looked down on by the people who do this:

(Comment on a negative Rotten Tomatoes review of The Avengers.)

(Message in my inbox. Way to be an anonymous coward.)

(Comment on the the SHH boards.)

That last one’s fairly tame. It followed a (now deleted) comment that went something to the effect of this: “Tumblr is sick. I can’t even browse the Avengers tag because of all the fangirls posting porn.”

Well, you know what? I’m not sorry.

I’m not sorry my enjoyment of fandom is different from yours.

Maybe my time would be better spent bitching at reviewers and complaining that Black Widow made it to film before Ant-Man. But that’s not what I choose to do. I choose to draw. I choose to write fanfic. I choose to share podcasts and make comic book recommendations. I choose to be positive (when I’m not pissed of at people like you anyway).

I’m not sorry you sometimes stumble upon sexualized male characters.

You know why? Because of this:

(Zatanna’s new “costume”)

And this:


And this:

(Heroes for Hire #13)

And, finally, this:

(Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Hawkeye, and TITS AND ASS!)

You get to ogle comic book characters constantly. You get to ogle movie characters constantly. And you know what? While I have a problem with the double standard in comics, that is your right. Women are sexy.

But if I want to put Iron Man and Captain America on the cover of The Notebook or pose them like Cyclops and Jean Grey, I’m going to do it. And I think I have the right to without being thought of as some sort of freak.

(Shameless self-promotion.)

How is the way I enjoy my hobby less healthy than the way you enjoy yours? How am I the one who’s inappropriate? I think it’s because I sexualize male characters instead of female ones.

I’m not sorry that makes you uncomfortable.

(“Leave the Avengers aloooonnneeeee!”)

I’m not sorry you’re a homophobe.

Actually, I kind of am. Exploring alternate sexual orientations isn’t “defamation of character.” It’s 2012, for crying out loud. I’m not a lesbian (or curious for that matter) but I can appreciate the Spider-Woman/Ms.Marvel pairing and the occasional Pepper/Natasha fic. The world of internet fandom has a lot to offer you if you let it.

I’m not sorry for shipping.

Shipping is glorious. I ship because it’s nice to think that these epic heroes have equally epic romances. Some of the fanfic out there is better written than a lot of comic books. Some of the fanart is better than real comic book art (looking at you, Rob Liefeld). Some of the things I ship are canon (Spider-Man/MJ). Others aren’t.

(Not canon.)

There’s a misconception that fangirls are only interested in male/male pairings. Some of them are, and who cares? That’s their right. But the assumption just isn’t true. There’s a reason Natasha/Clint is popular among movie fans. There’s a reason Tony/Pepper is popular. Those characters have boatloads of chemistry.

Then again, so do Loki/Thor, Tony/Bruce, and Tony/Steve. Don’t want ladies to overwhelmingly ship male characters together? Make a movie with more than one female lead. We can’t help it that The Avengers is a sausage party.

We are going to ship. We are going to ship loudly and proudly and there’s nothing you can do about it. I suggest you stop complaining and jump on the bandwagon. You might be surprised at how much you enjoy fangirls when you get to know us. We have a sense of humor. We have a sense of fun. We just happen to also have a strong sense of romance and a thing for attractive men.

So sue us.

[Follow up post due to overwhelming response]



Superheroes movies like Avengers Assemble should not be scorned 

From Superman to Batman, superhero films have much to teach us about faith and humanity – as well as being terrrific visual spectacle, writes Avengers Assemble star Tom Hiddleston

Earlier this year, beneath the wind-whipped tarpaulin of a catering tent in Gloucester, I was working on a film with the actor Malcolm Sinclair. Over scrambled eggs at an ungodly hour, he told me something I had not previously known: when Christopher Reeve was young, barely out of Juilliard, he was roundly mocked by his peers on Broadway for accepting the role of Superman. It was considered an ignoble thing for a classical actor to do.

I grew up watching Superman. As a child, when I first learned to dive into a swimming pool, I wasn’t diving, I was flying, like Superman. I used to dream of rescuing a girl I had a crush on (my Lois Lane) from a playground bully (General Zod). Reeve, to my mind, was the first real superhero.

Since then some of the greatest actors have turned superheroes into a serious business: Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson in Batman; Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, the first venerable knights of the X-Men, who have now passed the baton to Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy. In spite of 20 years of mercurial work in the likes of Chaplin and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, it was his rock-star-charismatic yet somehow humble Tony Stark in Iron Man that helped wider audiences finally embrace the enormous talent of Robert Downey Jr. And Heath Ledger’s performance in The Dark Knight quite simply changed the game. He raised the bar not just for actors in superhero films, but young actors everywhere; for me. His performance was dark, anarchic, dizzying, free, and totally, thrillingly, dangerous.


*sobs* How are you real, Tom Hiddleston? How are you real?

This is exactly my opinion as well, especially in regards to Hiddleston’s own performance in The Avengers; he turned a caricature ”evil villain in a funny hat” into a mesmerizing, heartbreaking, representation of Loki.